A sheet a day keeps the doldrums away

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to start a “Sheet a day” project – in which I shoot a sheet of 4×5 film every day in my Zero 45 as a way to get to know the camera. I started the project and have a couple weeks worth of photos. Here is my most recent one: a 20 minute exposure of a self portrait while I am typing on my laptop at work.

I have already learned so much about all sorts of things so far! I am really glad I am doing this. The photos are quite mundane and not the most exciting in the world, but it’s fun to not really care about being “exciting” and to just experiment and try things out. I am doing this project for me.

I was a bit reluctant to share these with people but decided, for the sake of being organized, to post them in a Flickr album. I have to admit that it has been interesting to see the feedback on them (not really expecting any to begin with).

If you are interested following the project let me know! We will need to connect on Flickr because I am limiting visibility to Flickr friends.

Fleece The People

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A couple of months ago I mentioned that the Traveling Yashica was on it’s way to me. Well, the camera came and went I and I had a blast with it! I shot three rolls of film through it, two for me and one for a films swap with Hamish, the owner of the camera. I shot a roll of slide film and a roll of Black and White film through it. I think this is my favorite from the roll of slide film. I took this at a carnival during my small town’s Mountain Day’s festival. The carnival visits every year and when it comes to town I always remember the conversation I had with a young man who worked there about fleecing the people who go to it. 

Read all about my adventures with The Traveling Yashica here!

The Witches Castle – Portland, Oregon

Moni:

A new post on Pinhole Obscura about a witches castle…

Originally posted on Pinhole Obscura:

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Zero 45 (25mm configuration). Graflex “23” Graphic roll back. Ektar film
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Queen of Diamonds: The Witches Castle. From the Secrets of Portland deck by Aron Trotter.

When I pulled the Queen of Diamonds from my “Secrets of Portland” deck I was giddy with excitement. I’d heard about The Witches Castle and was instantly curious about it (who wouldn’t be?!?) and knew that I needed to find this place and pinhole it.

The Witches Castle is located in Forest Park (Portland, OR). There are a host of rumors about this place. I was curious about how the place came to be known as “Witches Castle” so I did some research.

Way back in the olden days  there was a family living on the property by the name of Balch (the creek that runs through here is named after this family). When Danford Balch laid claim to the area he hired a…

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You can stand under my umbrella

I don’t know about you but the news from the past week and a half has really gotten to me. The day Robin Williams committed suicide seems to have started a downward spiral of terrible news all over the world. I am  disturbed by all of it.

I am especially saddened by the death of Robin Williams. The sadness has crept up on me slowly. When I see videos of him and stories about him it breaks my heart all over again. I grew up with him and his crazy sense of humor. I see these videos of him being funny and, like others, I am shocked that this person decided to end his own life.

Suicide is a very touchy subject for me. It has affected my life in many ways. When the subject comes up in the news it stirs up thoughts of my own struggles with depression.

In an odd turn of events, I was called upon this week to attend a Mental Health First Aid training workshop.  I was a little hesitant to go because I was personally feeling a little fragile, but I went anyway. It was really good training, though very intense. I went away from it feeling good about helping someone through a mental health crisis should the need arise. It also helped me realize that I am not alone in my struggles, which helps me feel better.

During this past week and a half one of the things that has come up (and was completely validated when I took this class) is the idea that we need to reach out to others who are suffering. It is a hard thing to do. I admit to not doing it as often as I should. I would even go as far as to say it is a very brave thing to do.

When a person is in a deep depression they are incapable of helping themselves. Much of the advice I have heard on social media about this is something like, “If you are depressed, don’t be afraid to reach out to others.” Unfortunately, this is very hard to do. Sometimes it is impossible. When a person is in that place of darkness it can be hard to find the way out. It becomes very important for others to  help them by leading the way out.

A Polish proverb came up over and over again about a month ago in very disparate places. It was very odd and made me wonder if the Universe was trying to tell me something. The proverb is:

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

when I first saw it I embraced the idea. I tend to easily get sucked into other people’s drama and it affects me in negative ways, at times. However, after giving it some thought I have to really disagree with it.  I realized that we are all in this together. We are rowing the same boat. If you are suffering, I am suffering too. Your suffering is my suffering. So it benefits me to reach out and help.

I am so very grateful to those of you (you know who you are) who have helped me through some of those darker times. Thank you very much.

Cherryville Cemetery

Moni:

I forgot to share this here! It’s my latest post on Pinhole Obscura. I’ve told the story here before, but this time I have pinhole photos!

Originally posted on Pinhole Obscura:

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In July of 2009 I applied for a job at a library in a small town 30 miles east of Portland that I had driven through once. When I  was interviewed I  was delighted with the place and with the people who interviewed me. Lucky for me, the feeling was mutual. When I told my mom that I was moving to Sandy, Oregon she came back with an interesting reply, “Really? Sandy? Your uncle lived there in the 1960s. Did you know that?”

No. I did not know that.

The story is that my uncle lived in the area for awhile and loved it. Then a couple of tragedies struck the family which caused them to move down into Portland. One of those tragedies was the death of his 2 year old daughter. She drowned in a creek near the home. There was a cemetery next to his house where he…

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Foolish Gibberish

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